Breast Implant Removal

Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure worldwide. Advances in medical technology have made breast implants safer than they have ever been, but they are not lifetime devices. Many women who undergo breast augmentation or reconstruction will have their implants removed at some point. Some desire a change in shape, size or implant type. Some experience complications or illness. Some wish to restore their natural breasts. Breast implant removal can address a range of aesthetic and medical concerns while maintaining a natural-looking appearance that suits your lifestyle and physique.

When is breast implant removal appropriate?

There are many reasons to pursue breast implant removal, some cosmetic and some functional. Common reasons include, but are not limited to:

  • Capsular contracture
  • Visible rippling
  • Implant rupture or leakage
  • Persistent pain
  • Infection or illness
  • Unsatisfactory results from augmentation or reconstruction
  • Changes in lifestyle or aesthetic tastes
  • To return to natural breasts

What procedures complement breast implant removal?

The ultimate goal of breast surgery is to leave the patient with a body they love. In order to achieve that result, an additional procedure may be necessary. Some women opt to have their old implants replaced with new implants of the same size, a smaller size or a larger size. Other women choose not to have new implants placed but elect to have a breast lift to restore firmness and perkiness to their natural breasts. Fat transfer to the breast (called lipoaugmentation) is a third, increasingly popular option for enhancement after breast implant removal.

What happens during breast implant removal?

Breast implant removal is typically performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. During the procedure, an incision will be made along the lower fold of your breast, around the areola or below the areola. The incision may be placed in the same location as the incision for your initial breast implant surgery to limit the creation of new scarring. The old breast implant will be removed and, if necessary, scar tissue surrounding the implant will also be excised. If you elect to have your implants exchanged or to undergo an ancillary breast procedure, this will be performed after removal and your incisions will be closed when all procedures are complete.

What can I expect during recovery?

Some swelling, bruising and discomfort are normal following breast implant removal. These will resolve with time and can be managed with prescribed medication. You may be asked to wear a special surgical garment to aid recovery. Light activities can be resumed as tolerated; strenuous activities and heavy lifting should be avoided until Dr. Bazzi has cleared you to perform them. Most patients can return to work within one week.

What results can breast implant removal achieve?

Breast implant removal results are apparent immediately. If you choose to have your implants replaced, you will see the volumizing effect of your new implants right away. Your final results will emerge as postoperative swelling and bruising subside. Expect your new implants to have the same longevity as the previous implants, approximately 10 years. If you opt not to replace your implants, your results will depend on the size of your implants, your body type and your skin quality. A breast lift or fat transfer after implant removal may yield the best aesthetic outcome.

Will insurance cover breast implant removal?

Most insurance carriers do not cover procedures that are performed purely for cosmetic reasons. Removal of an implant placed solely to enhance the size and appearance of the breasts will likely not be covered. However, insurance coverage may be an option if breast implant removal is deemed “medically necessary” as a result of certain complications or if the original procedure was considered medically necessary reconstructive surgery. We suggest contacting your insurance provider to discuss the specifics of your policy.

Is breast implant removal right for me?

At the Celestial Institute of Plastic Surgery, we work closely with our patients to help them achieve an appearance they love, so they feel healthier, happier and more confident in their skin. Breast implant removal is an option for women who wish to exchange their implants, return to their natural breast size or address a medical issue. You may be a good candidate for breast implant removal with Dr. Bazzi if you are physically healthy, you are at a stable weight, you are a nonsmoker and you have reasonable expectations for the outcome of the surgery. Call our Canton, Michigan, office today at 734-844-5700 to schedule a consultation.